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Entropy and the Predictability of Online Life

Using mobile phone records and information theory measures, our daily lives have been recently shown to follow strict statistical regularities, and our movement patterns are, to a large extent, predictable. Here, we apply entropy and predictability measures to two datasets of the behavioral actions and the mobility of a large number of players in the virtual universe of a massive multiplayer online game. We find that movements in virtual human lives follow the same high levels of predictability as offline mobility, where future movements can, to some extent, be predicted well if the temporal correlations of visited places are accounted for. Time series of behavioral actions show similar high levels of predictability, even when temporal correlations are neglected. Entropy conditional on specific behavioral actions reveals that in terms of predictability, negative behavior has a wider variety than positive actions. The actions that contain the information to best predict an individual’s subsequent action are negative, such as attacks or enemy markings, while the positive actions of friendship marking, trade and communication contain the least amount of predictive information. These observations show that predicting behavioral actions requires less information than predicting the mobility patterns of humans for which the additional knowledge of past visited locations is crucial and that the type and sign of a social relation has an essential impact on the ability to determine future behavior.

 

Entropy and the Predictability of Online Life
Roberta Sinatra and Michael Szell

Entropy 2014, 16(1), 543-556; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/e16010543


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Quantifying literature quality using complexity criteria

We measured entropy and symbolic diversity for English and Spanish texts including literature Nobel laureates and other famous authors. Entropy, symbol diversity and symbol frequency profiles were compared for these four groups. We also built a scale sensitive to the quality of writing and evaluated its relationship with the Flesch's readability index for English and the Szigriszt's perspicuity index for Spanish. Results suggest a correlation between entropy and word diversity with quality of writing. Text genre also influences the resulting entropy and diversity of the text. Results suggest the plausibility of automated quality assessment of texts.

 

Quantifying literature quality using complexity criteria
Gerardo Febres, Klaus Jaffe

http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.7077


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Quantifying Information Flow During Emergencies

Recent advances on human dynamics have focused on the normal patterns of human activities, with the quantitative understanding of human behavior under extreme events remaining a crucial missing chapter. This has a wide array of potential applications, ranging from emergency response and detection to traffic control and management. Previous studies have shown that human communications are both temporally and spatially localized following the onset of emergencies, indicating that social propagation is a primary means to propagate situational awareness. We study real anomalous events using country-wide mobile phone data, finding that information flow during emergencies is dominated by repeated communications. We further demonstrate that the observed communication patterns cannot be explained by inherent reciprocity in social networks, and are universal across different demographics.

 

Quantifying Information Flow During Emergencies
Liang Gao, Chaoming Song, Ziyou Gao, Albert-László Barabási, James P. Bagrow & Dashun Wang

Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 3997 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep03997


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António F Fonseca's curator insight, February 7, 2014 8:53 AM

Extensive study of information bursts in emergency situations, comparative analysis against other high arousal events like a rock concert is very instructive.

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Spatially Distributed Social Complex Networks

Spatially Distributed Social Complex Networks | Geography & Complexity Theory | Scoop.it

We propose a bare-bones stochastic model that takes into account both the geographical distribution of people within a country and their complex network of connections. The model, which is designed to give rise to a scale-free network of social connections and to visually resemble the geographical spread seen in satellite pictures of the Earth at night, gives rise to a power-law distribution for the ranking of cities by population size (but for the largest cities) and reflects the notion that highly connected individuals tend to live in highly populated areas. It also yields some interesting insights regarding Gibrat’s law for the rates of city growth (by population size), in partial support of the findings in a recent analysis of real data [Rozenfeld et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 105 18702 (2008)]. The model produces a nontrivial relation between city population and city population density and a superlinear relationship between social connectivity and city population, both of which seem quite in line with real data.

 

Spatially Distributed Social Complex Networks
Gerald F. Frasco, Jie Sun, Hernán D. Rozenfeld, and Daniel ben-Avraham

Phys. Rev. X 4, 011008 (2014)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevX.4.011008


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Eli Levine's comment, February 2, 2014 7:41 PM
Sounds very similar to a finding I made when I mapped out the links between and amongst all the people who checked out and donated to a charity drive while I was a cashier (essentially mapping out the progress of money changing hands to food donated to a food bank). I called it "the Social Web", and I hypothesized that it was the molecular level of our society (while the individual agents are the atoms, composed of their own sub-atomic particles). It makes sense that each atom would have more bindings in a larger city. However, could the connections be stronger, or rather, more frequently used in a smaller one?<br><br>Very cool to see this being replicated and seen by other eyes.
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From Schelling to Schools

We address theoretically whether and under what conditions Schelling's celebrated result of 'self-organized' unintended residential segregation may also apply to school segregation. We propose here a computational model of school segregation that is aligned with a corresponding Schelling-type model of residential segregation. To adapt the model for application to school segregation, we move beyond previous work by combining two preference arguments in modeling parents' school choice, preferences for the ethnic composition of a school and preferences for minimizing the travelling distance to the school. In a set of computational experiments we assessed the effects of population composition and distance preferences in the school model. We found that a preference for nearby schools can suppress the trend towards self-organized segregation obtained in a baseline condition where parents were indifferent towards distance. We then investigated the joint effects of the variation of agents' 'tolerance' for out-group members and distance preference. We found that integrated distributions were preserved under a much broader range of conditions than in the absence of a preference for nearby schools. We conclude that parents' preferences for nearby schools may be an important factor in tempering for school choice the segregation dynamics known from models of residential segregation.

 

From Schelling to Schools: A Comparison of a Model of Residential Segregation with a Model of School Segregation

Victor Ionut Stoica and Andreas Flache

Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (1) 5

http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/17/1/5.html ;


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Eli Levine's curator insight, February 11, 2014 1:37 PM

It appears as if racial segregation begins with where you live and are able to live.  This then helps to perpetuate misunderstandings, bigotry and biases against people from other racial, ethnic and social backgrounds than yourself in many individual cases across the human spectrum.

 

It's a shame that, even now, we're still so tribal, just like our chimp ancestors.

 

Think about it.